In a “town hall” event on SiriusXM NFL Radio, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell once again discussed the possibility of doing away with the Pro Bowl, bringing the deed even closer to reality. He could not stress enough how disappointed he was in last year’s performance and spoke about eliminating the game rather than endorsing another “below standards” showing again.
I know you don’t hear this phrase very often, but Commissioner Goodell is correct. No player, after 16 (or more) weeks of bumps, bruises and worse, wants to come out and bust their butt playing in an exhibition game. It isn’t in their best interest to do so and the quality of play we have come to see is going to be the standard… from now on.
Of course, the players do not want to eliminate the game, mainly because they get a free Hawaiian vacation out of the deal. I don’t think the fans care about either side’s position.
The truth of the matter is, it really IS time to eliminate the Pro Bowl. It is a pointless exhibition played by a bunch of multimillionaires who have already hung up their cleats for the season and don’t want to risk any further injury. To give the players their final day in the sun (read: free vacation), why not have a party or awards ceremony akin to what the ESPYs have become? Or maybe like the NFL Schedule special where each Pro Bowl player is announced individually with some fanfare. There could be a skills competition during the day or some kind of contest that won’t risk much injury.
Being that it is in Hawaii, the ceremony/party could have a luau setting with the NFL Cheerleaders Pro Bowlers (yes, they have those) being the eye candy in their grass skirts. The awards could include an expedited selection of the league MVP and offensive and defensive players of the year. The playoffs don’t count toward those awards (or so they say) so the selection process could start at the conclusion of the week 17 games in order to have them ready for the “Pro Bowl Party”.
So, yes, Mr. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, do away with the Pro Bowl GAME. There is still some money to be made in a prime time NFL special featuring the league’s best players being given their awards Oscars-style and escorted to the podium by an NFL cheerleader in her grass skirt and lei. The awards would be separated out by musical acts or clips of a skills competition.
The fans will most likely latch on for one last grasp at anything NFL-related before the league and its players retire until another season. Just do it.